Snake

Colombian Boa Constrictor Care Sheet

Overview

The Colombian boa constrictor is the most broadly maintained boa constrictor from the pet sector (there are nine approved subspecies of Boa constrictor and lots of localities of several subspecies). They are also called by the name common boa and red-tailed boa, even though the authentic red-tailed boa is Boa constrictor, which can be larger and located in nations such as Suriname, Guyana, Peru, and Brazil.

There might be B. c. constrictor in southeastern Colombia, but those are seldom seen in the reptile world. Colombian boas have become popular because of being docile and with more “character,” because they appear to be curious about their environment than a few other snakes.

Colombian boa constrictors make good pets, and they’re offered in a vast range of attractive color and pattern morphs. Novice amateurs can provide appropriate care, but because of their potentially big size and prolonged lifespan, boas are best suited to moderate- and – advanced-level keepers.

Where to buy Colombian boa constrictor?

Boa constrictors are easy to get in the pet business, and several breeders concentrate on Colombian boa morphs. They’ve been bred in captivity for decades, and litters are created almost annually. The vast majority of boa litters happen from May through August, so late summer and autumn see the maximum accessibility of infants.

Prices vary considerably, depending on the kind of boa constrictor you need, and where you buy it. Wild-phase or even normal-colored boas can sometimes be obtained for $60 to $75 in reptile shows $150 to $200 in retail stores. Low-color hypomelanistic (reduced black pigment) boas might be as low as $75 in reptile shows, however fresh and “designer” morphs can cost more than $5,000.

Make sure you obtain your boa from a respectable source. Search for busy snakes lacking any preserved discard skin, potential respiratory disease (auditory breathing may be an indication of the) or spinal kinks or deformities. Assess for snake fleas, which can be black, parasites which resemble ticks.

How big is Colombian boa constrictor?

Female Colombian boa constrictors may reach 10 feet in length, although this is uncommon for B. c. imperator, along with the typical adult size for females is 6 to 8 feet. Men are smaller, generally 5 to 7 ft in length. Some Central American boa constrictors stay much smaller–in case you’d prefer a more compact boa constrictor, start looking into Central American neighborhood types, like the ones out of Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Smaller subspecies comprise Boa c. longicauda and B. c. sabogae, though bear in mind these localities and subspecies have never been bred in captivity so long as the Colombian boa, therefore they might not be as docile and may require additional attention to calm them down.

How long can Colombian boa constrictor live?

Boas are incredibly long-lived reptiles. There are documented instances of captive boas living longer than 40 years nonetheless, the typical captive life span is 20 to 30 decades. Please think about this carefully before bringing a boa house.

Housing for Colombian boa constrictor

Many caging choices are offered to get boa constrictors. Aquariums may be utilized, but reptile-specific plastic enclosures made from high-quality plastics which claim proper humidity are more acceptable for boas than other things. A rack system is something to think about if you progress to breeding boas, or when you’re planning to have many boas residing with you. Custom enclosures are just another choice.

Young boa constrictors have simple wants; a large, superbly decorated cage isn’t the best option for them. Even though a brand-new boa is acclimating, an easy casing is preferred, along with the enclosure ought to be prepared before your new boa’s coming house. A proper first cage to get a baby boa are no larger than 30 inches by 12 inches wide, where it’ll feel stable.

Naturally, as the youthful boa develops, a more massive cage is going to be required. Boa constrictors are terrestrial, and ground space is much more important than height. Young boas can rise but do this less as they rise. Typical full-grown adult boas must be put in cages no smaller than 4 feet by two feet wide (with larger-than-average snakes in larger enclosures).

A conceal box/shelter ought to be supplied, which will permit the boa to feel protected and protected. There are lots of commercially manufactured types out there. Offer two hides one on the hot side of this enclosure and also one on the other hand. A worried baby boa may remain on one side of their cage if just one conceal is supplied, which might dissuade the snake out of thermoregulation properly.

You might also offer stones, sticks or other constructions, but you should be sure they’re positioned safely and free of parasites.

Lighting and Temperature for Colombian boa constrictor

Boas control their body temperature throughout thermoregulation, and the crate should have a hot side and a trendy side. This is essential! Don’t set the heat source in the middle of the container, put it at an end. When the boa becomes too hot, it is going to move toward the warmer side, and if it’s too cold, then it is going to proceed to the other hand. That is thermoregulation!

The temperatures at the trendy finish your boa cage shouldn’t drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot side ought to be 85 degrees, using a hot spot of 90 degrees supplied through an under-cage heating apparatus that provides “belly heat” Boa constrictors much prefer this, so that they could coil over the increasing heat.

Belly heat could be supplied using a variety of devices. Under-tank heaters are the most readily available. Heating cable and warmth tape are different possibilities. Any heating apparatus ought to be controlled using a toaster or rheostat. Some heating sources, notably heat tape, may become too hot for a few enclosures, plus they need to be regulated not only for the boa’s security but yours also.

If utilizing these devices, particularly if you’re using a glass enclosure like an aquarium, then make sure some ventilation is offered around the heat supply. If heat builds up, it may crack the base of a glass tank, or create other caging materials to sew or melt.

Overhead lighting isn’t ordinarily needed. Whether an overhead bulb is utilized, it ought to be set directly over the origin of the stomach heating. Make sure you check the temperature of your hot place while the bulb is still on. In case the belly warmth being supplied in the under-enclosure apparatus isn’t hot enough, overhead light can help out with keeping a correct warm place, but overhead light or an overhead heating apparatus isn’t suggested for boas.

A low-wattage fluorescent bulb may be employed to offer a photoperiod (day/night cycle) and also to better celebrate your boa. Full-spectrum bulbs with UVB can provide physical and physiological benefits to boas, but that hasn’t yet been proven.

UVB lighting isn’t needed for the appropriate care of boas, along with also the vast majority of boa keepers don’t utilize it. Nonetheless, it will not damage your boa, therefore don’t hesitate to provide it only if there’s some advantage.

Substrate for Colombian boa constrictor

Boas can be held on various kinds of substrate. Newspaper, aspen, white or brownish butcher/wrapping newspaper, and cage carpet will be the most frequently used substrates. Fir and cypress barks will also be acceptable although not frequently employed by breeders.

If utilizing cypress bark or bark, make sure it doesn’t become overly moist since it retains humidity nicely. When utilizing aspen or carpet, the crate can be cleaned frequently, with a complete change occurring as necessary. If using newspaper, the whole substrate ought to be altered whenever cage cleaning happens.

Food for Colombian boa constrictor

It’s essential to permit your new boa to acclimate to its new environment before feeding. Never try to feed a brand-new boa for a minimum of five days after you make it all home. I guarantee that the new boa will probably be OK without food in this period. Should you feed it too soon, while it could nevertheless be stressed from the transfer to your house, the snake could regurgitate.

If it happens, make certain your temperatures are right, nor try to nourish the boa again for two weeks. The most frequent causes of regurgitation are improper stress and temperature from being treated, so make certain that you provide appropriate cage temperatures and don’t too handle boas following meals.

Never feed a fresh boa constrictor a meal which is larger than the snake’s mid-body girth. It shouldn’t ever exhibit a bulge following ingestion. Particularly in young boas, a meal that’s too large may cause regurgitation. A recognized boa will take care of a meal leading to a little bulge just nice.

Pet boa constrictors must be fed just quality rats or mice. They want no extra food or supplementation. Make certain that you buy your rodents out of a great supply to prevent disease and fleas. Boas two years old and old should be fed suitably sized bark every seven to ten days.

Excessive feeding can cause regurgitation, improper growth, and premature death. After boas near maturity, they will flourish while being fed every 10 to 14 days. It’s fine to nourish your boa less or more often, but make sure you track fat so that the boa doesn’t become obese or fat.

Many boa constrictors for sale as pets will probably be ingesting frozen/thawed prey. Should you buy one who is eating live rodents, then it’ll often take frozen/thawed prey that’s presented with a set of tongs. Pre-killed rodents are always best if they’re frozen/thawed or lately murdered, because dwell rodents can damage your boa.

If your snake doesn’t kill its prey (boas won’t consume if they’re not hungry or are retained under incorrect circumstances), the bark may sting or kill your boa. Even if the boa does constrict its prey, the bark may sting until it’s killed. Never leave your boa unattended with rodents.

Water and Humidity for Colombian boa constrictor

A water bowl is a must. This permits your boa somewhere to drink, and aids supply the appropriate humidity to your boa. The humidity in the crate must be 60 to 70 per cent; utilize a hygrometer (humidity indicator) to monitor the proportion.

Water should remain clean and needs to be changed as necessary as well as also the bowl cleaned. A few boa constrictors will defecate or urinate in the water, which has to be cleaned immediately if this happens. Make sure you wash and wash the bowl using antibacterial soap and warm water.

Make sure you rinse thoroughly and operate the water bowl via your dishwasher every day if possible. Disposable forms of plain water bowls, like deli cups, are yet another choice.

Young boas will frequently soak before or through a drop cycle. This assists in losing their skin, however, generally occurs only when appropriate cage humidity isn’t being met. A boa that’s always from the water bowl indicates the humidity is too low, the temperature is too large, or so the boa has mites.

Following a drop, make certain to inspect the suggestion of your boa’s tail. Young boas will occasionally retain a little parcel of shed skin. If captured soon after the drop, this older skin is easy to remove by gently pulling off the skin.

Always be careful when trying this. When it’s sticking, normally a dip in warm water can make removal easy. This skin care doesn’t mean you’ve got husbandry problems. At times the skin just tears until the discard is eliminated. Should you detect retained skin on different areas of your boa’s body, you might want to adjust the humidity levels.

Shedding issues are normally due to insufficient humidity. A soak or 2 throughout the fall cycle will greatly assist if you’re going through low-humidity troubles. Put a quarter-inch of warm water in a suitably sized plastic container and set your boa inside with a secure lid set up. Then set the container on your boa’s cage, then positioned, so the interior of the container includes a hot side and trendy side. This will keep the water hot and the humidity.

Don’t put it directly across the stomach heat or beneath a basking bulb. A couple of holes in the lid or sides of the container will offer ventilation. Scrub your boa from the container for around one hour (2 hours in case you are combating a particularly hard drop) and repeat as required. Make certain to check in your boa frequently, as they’ll often defecate while scrubbing.

Change the water and clean out the container if this happens. At the conclusion of this discard cycle, eliminate the water and put a small towel in the tank so that your boa can rub it to assist reduce its old skin.

Handling and Temperament for Colombian boa constrictor

Boa constrictors are typically quite docile and tolerate tackling very nicely. They frequently appear to like being held and will find a place in your shoulder or arm and revel in your body heat. They could crawl around for a couple of minutes before hunkering down to catch some warmth.

If your boa seemingly has a lousy attitude, assess its enclosure temperatures, humidity levels, and overall husbandry. Many boas calm immediately after repeated sessions of being managed.

The boa constrictor produces a wonderful pet for reptile amateurs of all levels, and it remains a cornerstone in the reptile community. As for me, I think boa constrictors are as good as it has into the snake world.

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